Roy Moore and Luther Strange are both saying the same things. They represent two different moods of the same politics.
Establishment versus hell raiser, maybe. But both are claiming to be the hell raiser. And both claim to be endorsed by Trump.
|Click: 30 seconds. Actually, I like Moore, too.|
Tuesday evening readers will be hearing commentary on the Alabama Senate primary, the vote to decide whether appointed incumbent Luther Strange or former Chief Judge Roy Moore will be the Republican nominee for the Senate seat vacated by Jefferson Beauregard Sessions to serve as US Attorney General.
Luther Strange was loyal to Mitch McConnell and voted faithfully for the Trump agenda. Trump was trapped. Trump is now the establishment and a loyal soldier stood with him, so he is in Alabama supporting Luther Strange. But the man whose mood and temperament is more in line with his own is the opponent, Roy Moore.
The quandary is demonstrated in this ad on behalf of Roy Moore: "I might have made a mistake."
|Click Here: Moore coddles sex predators.|
Meanwhile, the back and forth between Moore and Luther are familiarly ugly. Luther is attempting to show that Moore did shockingly bad things, in this ad accusing him of coddling a sexual predator. It has the same elements as the famous Willie Horton ad: large black criminal, weird music, deep voiced narration, attribution of evil motives to the opponent. The implied charge: Roy Moore endorsed a "liberal court" decision, an argument that pushes against every bit of Roy Moore's image and messaging for decades. The tagline: Moore is "too risky" for us.
|Click Here: Anti-Luther|
Roy Moore challenges the way Luther Strange got the office, by appointment of a governor on the brink of leaving office under the weight of an adultery scandal. Strange had been an lobbyist. Strange was supported by McConnell. Strange was establishment. Strange is part of the swamp, the Moore campaign asserts.
|Click Here: Endorsed.|
Both sides run ads touting the support of Trump, and each accuse the other of not really supporting Trump. Here Moore does it, saying Strange is actually supported by insiders who are Trump-resisters: Click Here. Meanwhile Luther Strange runs attack ads saying Roy Moore fails to support President trump.
It goes both ways, each wanting Trump as proof of bone fide Alabama conservatism. This is further complicated by the fact that conservative commentator Alan Keyes criticizes Moore for his association with Trump, saying Trump is not conservative enough: Click Here
Either way, Trump will be able to define this as a win. He will have a loyal soldier in Strange or a kindred spirit in Moore. Strange will be less trouble, Moore will raise more hell and say some of the things that Trump would say.
It is a garbled mess and pundits who attempt to draw meaning from it would be overthinking it. Either way, the voters are getting a version of the Alabama-Trump base voter, either the polite one or the boisterous one.
Nothing to see here.